Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MIT Team Designs Tsunami-resistant Houses

Date:
June 9, 2005
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
Using high-tech engineering principles, an MIT/Harvard team has developed a low-tech solution to the problem of how to build homes in tsunami-prone areas. The team recently produced an architectural model for a Sri Lankan house that essentially would allow a powerful ocean wave to go through the house, instead of knocking it flat.

Rendering of a Sri Lankan house designed by an MIT/Harvard team. The structure, which would be built with local materials, is engineered to withstand a tsunami.
Credit: Image courtesy of Senseable City Laboratory, MIT

Using high-tech engineering principles, an MIT/Harvard team has developed a low-tech solution to the problem of how to build homes in tsunami-prone areas.

Related Articles


The team recently produced an architectural model for a Sri Lankan house that essentially would allow a powerful ocean wave to go through the house, instead of knocking it flat.

The "Tsunami Safe(r) Houses," which will be built for about $1,200 each using materials available locally in Sri Lanka, will have four core columns made of concrete and rebar, each about 3 meters wide. Between these columns, homeowners can build walls of wood or bamboo to individualize the homes. Engineering simulations indicate that the design will help the core and foundation of the homes to withstand water or wind force over five times greater than a traditional concrete-block Sri Lankan home.

MIT's Buddhist chaplain, Tenzin Priyadarshi, and Carlo Ratti of MIT's Senseable City Laboratory (part of the urban studies department) initiated the project. They and the MIT Buddhist Foundation, Prajnopaya, hope to begin building the homes in Sri Lanka next month with money raised from donations. Tenzin will work with a board of directors representing several religious traditions and the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation in Sri Lanka. People of all faiths who lost homes in the 2004 tsunami are eligible for the homes.

The one- or two-bedroom, one-bath homes will be about 400 square feet and include an open floor plan for the kitchen and living areas. The homes will be built atop concrete blocks or wood 1 or 2 feet above ground so that high waters can flow underneath, making them more storm resistant. The architects also designed a community center based on similar type of construction to provide secular meeting places for the neighborhoods.

The new owners will be encouraged to take part in the construction of their homes.

Coordinators of the project are architects Ratti and Walter Nicolino of MIT, who are working with Luis Berrios, an MIT graduate student in architecture, and a team of graduate students from Harvard's Tsunami Design Initiative: Ellen Chen, Eric Ho, Nour Jallad, Rick Lam and Ying Zhou. The London-based engineering firm, Buro Happold, ran the simulations using a computer model the firm designed following its onsite, post-tsunami research.

Donations can be made at http://www.prajnopaya.org/found_donations.htm. For more information about the design, visit http://senseable.mit.edu/tsunami-prajnopaya.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "MIT Team Designs Tsunami-resistant Houses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055016.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2005, June 9). MIT Team Designs Tsunami-resistant Houses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055016.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "MIT Team Designs Tsunami-resistant Houses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055016.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins